It has been amazing to be part of the WAF award winning team. When you look across the range and quality of projects put forward for the WAF Awards, to be short listed and then become associated with the overall winner is a momentous achievement for Grant Associates.
Director - Grant Associates
Date posted: 24/10/08
German architect Meinhard von Gerkan took a very specific approach to sustainability in the third of the sessions on the topic entitled ‘Lessons learned’, looking at the reusability of buildings.
He focused on a church that his practice built for the 2000 Hanover Expo, when he took the decision to make the building a reusable and modular one. This, he said, was a better solution than an enchantingly kitsch inflatable church that he had shown earlier, where everything except the priest could be blown up in one day – even the altar decorations.
The trouble with this, von Gerkan said, was that nobody would want to worship in such a space. In contrast, his building is far from the idea of cheap and cheerful prefab, with numinous spaces tackling the issue of how you give somewhere a religious feel without drawing on outdated symbolism. And the proof of its success is that the building is not just theoretically reusable – it immediately had a new use. It travelled to Thuringia to become a pilgrim church in the middle of an existing monastery.